Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Genocide Begets Genocide

New film on Armenian genocide

I had never heard Hitler's famous quote before invading Poland until I read this column by Robin Abcarian.

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" Hitler said in 1939.  

Our collective amnesia gave him license to invade another nation and take its Jewish citizens captive, killing them in concentration camps over the next six years.

Remembering is so important. 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turkey, starting on April 24, 1915, and lasting through 1923.

Now April 24 is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day, observed annually in Los Angeles by a march of 1.5 miles.

Not to be confused with Holocaust Remembrance Day, or Yom haShoah, occurring on the 27th day of Nisan (also April 24 this year), marking the date of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.  

And let's not forget the UN International Holocaust Remembrance Day, observed on January 27, 1945, the day Russian troops entered and liberated the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps.

Robin's grandfather, Mike Abcarian, left Armenia in 1912 to seek his fortune in America, planning to send for his family after he got established.

"He never got the chance," writes Robin.  "They were murdered in 1915.  Only his younger sister, who was pinned under her mother's body, survived."

Today there are deniers of this holocaust, as of the Jewish holocaust during World War II.  

No American president has recognized this horror using the word genocide.
Turkey today refuses to admit that it engaged in systematic extermination 100 years ago.
Small planes flew above the march with a Turkish flag and a banner reading "Stop Armenian Lies."  Some news reports on marches qualify the genocide with "many say" and "most historians say...."

What can you do to show your caring?  Go to see the new film The Promise, a "big-budget American feature" about this genocide, released April 21. It's showing in Los Angeles at AMC, Landmark, iPic, Arclight,and Cinemark theatres, as well as other places.

It screened at the Vatican on April 4.

In fact, this film has been challenged by a matching Turkish film produced by those who deny that the Armenian genocide took place.

IMDb reports: “It’s an Erdogan propaganda film released as a feature film in the United States, remarkably, just ahead of us,” the director said. “The Ottoman Lieutenant,” which stars Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley, was produced by a Turkish company called Eastern Sunrise Films.

Thank you to Robin for her heart-breaking reminder with a photo of a seven-year-old today marching for his ancestors,

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